Better not invite Randy Travis to this night outing… just sayin’.
single: “That’s My Kind of Night”
artist: Luke Bryan
Country music is an anomaly as far as contemporary music goes. It’s the only genre that reflexively rejects technological advances and gee-whiz production gimmicks. Each decade brings a trickle of fresh sounds, but tradition is king in country.
However, Luke Bryan is here to change that. Right now. “That’s My Kind of NIght” is the type of obvious pander that you feel guilty for liking even when you’re not a country music fan. It’s uncomfortably contemporary; it makes Taylor Swift look like Loretta Lynn.
I for one appreciate the sacrifice Luke Bryan made here, because this song cannot possibly win (except for the fact that it’s very popular and will make lots of money). On the one hand, Luke Bryan as a country artist is held to the Hankocratic oath: he will not be funky, use anything resembling a hip-hop beat, or push buttons in the studio that make those dance-music sound effects. He breaks the oath mightily here. I’m quite sure the Grand Ole Opry has plans to burn him in effigy.
On the other hand, someone like Nelly couldn’t have released this record because the tongue-in-cheek country-isms that Luke gets away with (jacked-up pickup trucks, catching catfish as a dinner date) would be seen as derisive in the hands of a non-country artist. Luke himself barely gets away with it.
But if you ignore all the genre tension permeating the record, it’s thoroughly enjoyable, like any self-respecting pop hit should be.